10 Things To Love About Staying In A Caribbean Villa

IMG_1330I don’t need to tell you about the obvious perks of staying in a Caribbean villa: all the privacy you want in a plush holiday home in a dreamy tropical location. But after a recent stay at Queen’s Fort 10, one of 120 luxury Barbados villas managed by Blue Sky Luxury, I came away with 10 very personal but universally appealing reasons why you should consider a Caribbean villa vacation for your next getaway. IMG_13411. Luxury, Your Way

Here’s the thing about renting a villa: while it’s certainly a luxurious thing to do, the experience itself can be as relaxed or as fancified as you like. During my stay we enjoyed butler-served, exquisitely elegant meals at painstakingly prepared table on the veranda. But we came to that table in casual clothes, some of us barefoot. And, afterward, when we repaired to the sitting area for after-dinner drinks and conversation, some of us (OK, me) felt comfortable enough to do so in (appropriately modest) sleepwear. Such is the sense of intimacy, familiarity and comfort quickly fostered by a villa stay. If you aren’t family, you quickly feel as if you are. And that’s something you’ll never experience in a hotel.

IMG_11072. Service, Not Servitude

Think you’ll feel awkward being surrounded by staff? Think again. When staff are as unobtrusive yet effective as the team at Queens Fort 10, who serve with dignity and pride in their professions, it’s surprisingly easy to get used to being waited on hand and foot! Having your needs anticipated and then exceeded is a luxury everyone should experience at least once, and staffed villas give you the chance.

IMG_08583. Poolside Perks

So you want breakfast in bed, lunch on the terrace, and afternoon tea in the shade of poolside palm tree at precisely 4 o’clock? It’s no problem when you’re staying in a villa and the day literally revolves around you and your desires. Exhausted from our island tour on day two of our stay, we returned home a little worse for wear and, as one of the Brits in our group remarked, “desperate for a cuppa.” Imagine our delight then, as we lay spent on poolside lounge chairs, to have a pot of tea, finger sandwiches and cake appear, expertly served by our butler, Maria. “I’ve died and gone to heaven,” my fellow journo said. And I had to agree.

IMG_09124. Royal Robes

I’ve worn my share of hotel bathrobes, most way too big and in varying states of disrepair. So I’ll admit that I may have been overly excited by the robe offerings at Queens Fort 10 and its sister villa Pink Cottage. No common-or-garden waffle cotton robes here. Instead, guests have a choice of two styles: either in crisply starched and perfectly pressed linen or a super-soft plush terry. Believe me, if they’d offered them for sale, I’d have bought one.


Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 7.00.51 PM5. The Laundry Fairy

Each bedroom has its own laundry basket, and it’s not just for show! Drop a T-shirt or damp swimsuit in and before you can say “rinse and repeat” the villa housekeeper has washed it and left it pristinely folded on your bed. Since returning home I’ve been hoping that my weekly laundry could somehow be spirited away in a similar fashion and magically return clean. So far, no luck.

IMG_13516. Om, Sweet Home

Getting out of bed to drive to a 6am yoga class? No, thanks. Rolling out of bed at 5:50 for a 6am private yoga sesh on the lawn of your plush villa? Namaste! The luxury of having yoga instructors (and masseurs, facialists and manicurists) on call is another perk of villa living that I can really get behind. And after yogini Antonina arrived and put us through our postures, we couldn't have felt more blissful.

IMG_16007. Little Luxuries

Whether I’m staying in a hotel or in villa, I find that it’s the little niceties that mean the most. The flowers and fresh fruit (replenished daily) in my comfy quarters made me feel instantly welcome and constantly cared for throughout my stay.

IMG_13508. Dreamy Desserts

I’d never even heard of brown bread-flavored ice cream until the final night of my Queens Fort 10 stay. But I haven’t been able to get this unusual but amazing tasting dessert, homemade by our chef, out of my head since. Trust me, two bowls full were NOT enough.

IMG_09279. Outstanding Amenities

I’ve stayed in hotel rooms stocked with brand-name bath products, everything from Bath & Body Works to Bulgari. But a villa with its own bespoke line of toiletries, such as those by at Queens Fort 10 and Pink Cottage? Now, that’s classy.

IMG_091610. Water, Water, Everywhere

I’m used to getting a bottle of water at turndown at nicer hotels. But receiving both still and sparkling H2O, complete with a bucket of ice, was a welcome bedtime bonus.

Rates at five-bedroom Queens Fort 10, near Holetown on Barbados’ west coast, start at $750 a night. Go to BlueSkyLuxury to book.